I love Qdoba & Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice but I wanted to figure out how to make it healthy without all the oil and use brown basmati rice. Plus it needed to be easy, simple, & quick - hence the instapot!  I think I have come up with the best vegan Instant Pot recipe that is delicious with corn & gluten free.  This dish can make a full mexican bowl for or meal with black beans.  This makes 8 servings so it works for a crowd if hosting a dinner party!  You can also do this in a ricecooker and then add the ingredients.  #cilantrolimerice #instantpot #instapot #wfpb #wholefoodplantbased #plantbased #healthyvegan #glutenfree

One of my favorite restaurants to eat at is On the Border. The veggie fajitas with corn tortillas & guacamole are great! And I always get the black beans & cilantro lime rice. While I love their rice, I’m pretty sure it has oil in it and of course they use white rice which is not WFPB. I’m also a fan of Chipotle’s & Qdoba’s cilantro lime rice, but still there is the issue of white rice and possibly some oil.

I wanted to create a whole food plant based version and see if I could get it close to the On the Border or Chipotle version without the oil.

Brown BASMATI Rice is so much better than regular brown rice

First of all, I have discovered brown basmati rice and I’m never going back to the short grain brown rice. Brown basmati rice tastes SO much better than regular brown rice. It has a nicer texture and has more of a nutty flavor. And it cooks perfectly in an Instant Pot.

I’m now making 2 batches of Instant Pot brown basmati rice each week and this is a great time saver for meal prep. It makes it easy to throw together a quick rice & beans & steamed veggie meal during the week when I’m too tired to cook.

Instant Pot brown basmati rice goes GREAT with this Slow Cooker Curry Red Lentil Soup. You can set up your slow cooker before work and then cook your brown basmati rice in the Instapot when you get home and dinner is done!

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brown basmati rice cooked in instant pot, instapot

Brown Basmati Rice can be found at most stores

I’ve found brown basmati rice for a good price at a few different places. You can buy it in bulk at Whole Foods and Central Market, but I also stumbled upon it at Aldi! I did find it at Kroger, but it was more expensive there. I haven’t checked Walmart, but they probably have it as well. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, I know they have it there.

Make sure you buy BROWN basmati rice and not just basmati rice, which is a refined white rice that has lost most of it’s nutrients and fiber through processing.

As many of you know, my oldest son is my picky eater so when I find a recipe he likes, it’s a huge deal. Luckily, he also likes the On The Border cilantro lime rice, so I knew he would be an excellent test subject. I was a little worried he wouldn’t even try it, because of all the green cilantro mixed in, but he did and LOVED it!

When we ran out he asked me to make some more so I knew we had found a winner!

This Instant Pot Recipe is perfect for batch cooking

This Perfect Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Brown Basmati Rice Recipe actually works great for just making batches of plain rice, just don’t add the cilantro, lime, & corn. You can even double the amounts of water & rice, and use the same “Rice” setting and it will come out perfect every time.

If you don’t have a “Rice” setting on your Instant Pot, then set it to Manual for 4 minutes, but do not do the quick release. Instead let it stay on warm for 10 minutes and then open the lid.

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, I highly recommend you get one! It can also double as a slow cooker and is amazing for making batches of beans as well. It cleans up really quickly so you can use it multiple times on your meal prep days. The Instant Pot is also very safe to use – it’s not like your grandmother’s scary pressure cooker! There are many fail-safe features so you don’t have to worry.

Pressure Cooker Cookbooks

Instant Pots make cooking meals super fast! Plus, there are great cookbooks like this one called, Vegan Under Pressure by Jill Nussinow, MS, RDN for learning lots of great Instant Pot recipes. She goes into great detail about cooking with Pressure Cookers and all the different kinds.

I also recommend you buy limes & squeeze them yourself. It can be tempting to purchase the squeeze bottles of lime juice, but they aren’t as good and won’t give you the flavor you are looking for. I use this hand squeezer to juice my limes.

What you’ll need:

instant pot cilantro lime brown basmati rice with corn no oil & gluten free; whole food plant based; nutritarian; eat to live

Make this cilantro lime rice recipe to taste

You don’t have to add the corn if you prefer it to be just cilantro lime. I’ve made it both ways. While my older son prefers the version without corn, I like the one with it because I think it’s a nice balance of sweetness with the bitter lime.

I recommend doing a taste test after you use the juice of about 3 limes then add more if you like. I think this last batch I did I used exactly 3 1/2 limes & felt that was enough!

Same thing with the cilantro. I like a good amount, but no too overpowering so 1/2 cup is good for us, but you make like more or less. Make it to you and your family’s tastes!

While I don’t have salt listed in the recipe, you could add a tiny bit if you wanted. Most nutritarians try to limit salt intake so I don’t typically add it to our recipes. I may use a little bit after I put it on our plates so we get more “bang for our buck” without overdoing the sodium.

Brown Basmati Cilantro Lime Rice is Perfect for Burrito Bowls

Burrito bowls are so fun and easy to make. You can create a burrito bowl “bar” where everyone gets to choose their own ingredients. Here some ideas for a burrito bar:

  • Brown Basmati Cilantro Lime Rice
  • Black beans and/or pinto beans
  • raw diced green/red/yellow peppers
  • diced onion
  • sautéed peppers & onions
  • sautéed mushrooms
  • corn kernels
  • lettuce or spinach
  • guacamole or diced avocado
  • pico de gallo
  • red and/or green salsa
  • mango salsa
  • cilantro
  • Upton’s Chili Lime Jackfruit

Related Reading

If you try this recipe please comment below!

Perfect Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Brown Basmati Rice

This recipe is great for creating basic basmati brown rice in a matter of minutes in your instant pot. Add the cilantro, lime, & corn for a delicious Mexican side dish like from On the Border, but this one is NO-OIL!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Gluten Free, Mexican, Nutritarian, Vegan, Whole Food Plant Based
Keyword: brown basmati rice, instant pot, no oil recipe
Servings: 8
Calories: 187kcal
Author: Kim Murphy



  • 2 cups brown basmati rice, uncooked
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3-4 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, cooked


  • Rinse rice in a fine mesh strainer until water is clear. You do not need to soak.
  • Place rice & water in the Instant Pot. Make sure there are no stray rice kernels around the edge.
  • Place lid on and make sure valve is set to sealing. Press Rice setting to cook. You can't adjust the rice time – it is automatic. Once it is done, turn the valve to quick release and remove lid once the pressure has been released.
  • If you don't have a "Rice" setting on your Instant Pot, then set to Manual for 4 minutes, but do not do the quick release. Instead let it stay on warm for 10 minutes and then open the lid. Fluff rice with a fork.
  • Once the rice is cooked, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. You can add more or less of the cilantro, lime & corn to taste.
  • If you don't have a "rice" setting on your Instant Pot, then set to manual for 4 minutes and then let it release pressure naturally for 10 minutes before doing a quick release to open the lid.


This basic rice recipe works great for batch cooking rice for the week. Just leave out the cilantro, lime, & corn for plain brown basmati rice.
I really recommend the brown basmati rice and NOT regular short grain brown rice.  The brown basmati rice has a much better flavor & texture.  You can find it in bulk at places like whole foods or central market, but I’ve also found large bags of it at Aldi.  I have found it at Kroger, but it was more expensive.


Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg